Proud owner of bits and pieces of an airplane.

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Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 17, 2012 - 09:35pm PT
Hello Supertopia,

I have been too busy to follow or post much this year. This is my first night off in a while to do so. I posted this in the other airplane thread and since there appears to be a lot of clashing going on,I thought it might deserve its own thread. I think it is pretty cool. If others feel different, I will delete it.

I am not sure if I have posted on Licky's Airplane thread or not. I may have posted some photos of the Airplane Tee Shirts of which I have collected several. I personally am interested in the whole story and the background information. This event was going on during my first year spent in Yosemite and whether we like it or not, it did influence the climbing community and others that lived in the Park at that time. Very recently Josh Helling and Bob Hansen were backpacking in the area and decided to visit Lower Merced Pass Lake. Due to the drought the lake was very low and they found some airplane debris that is normally under water. They carried it out as part of the Facelift spirit. I drove home today and as I pulled into my driveway I saw debris in my wheelbarrow and a large piece of painted aluminum leaned against it. My first thought was that someone had overloaded the dumpster and a neighbor had thought it was me, deciding to give me another chance to load the dumpster correctly. As I pulled into the driveway further, I thought that the debris looked like pieces of an airplane and was suddenly excited. And that is what they are, after 35 years here are some pieces of the plane that Josh and Bob pulled out of the lake and removed from the High Country.
Part of the wing (I think) and a wheelbarrow full of pieces.
Part of the wing (I think) and a wheelbarrow full of pieces.
Credit: Chicken Skinner
Fuel filter, fuel line and pieces.
Fuel filter, fuel line and pieces.
Credit: Chicken Skinner
Ken
Farouk

Boulder climber
Sylvan Grove
Aug 17, 2012 - 09:36pm PT
Get Sidmo to sign them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Aug 17, 2012 - 09:50pm PT
Auction it off at Facelift! That fuel filter looks reusable!
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Aug 17, 2012 - 09:50pm PT
I heard the first Camp 4 climber who went up there fashioned an L shaped probe about 10 ft long out of one of those hydraulic lines to locate bales stuck in the ice to the side of the few existing holes that had been randomly made.

Used it by sweeping the underside of the ice in a circle around the hole probing for bales which had floated up from the broken fuselage and frozen into the underside of the ice, and then as a measuring stick and angle finder to put on the surface to find the spot to dig.

Clever, eh?

Then a few days later some humongus dude carried a big chainsaw up there to probe with. Just plunged the tip of the bar randomly through the 18 inch ice and looked for a change in color in the spray from white to brown. That's when the lake started to look like swiss cheese, they say - holes and people EVERY where.

bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Aug 17, 2012 - 10:24pm PT
Where's the cargo:-)
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Aug 17, 2012 - 10:41pm PT
Awesome. I do quite a bit of wreck chasing myself, with 8 sites surveyed this year.

I'd still like to take a pony bottle up there and get a good look at the engine that's still on the lake bed.
T H

Boulder climber
bouldering
Aug 17, 2012 - 11:12pm PT
I never went to the actual location, but did find a part of a wing or tail while wandering from the trail to upper Ottoway Lake one time. I bet it's still there.
fsck

climber
Aug 17, 2012 - 11:57pm PT
I heard the first Camp 4 climber who went up there fashioned an L shaped probe about 10 ft long out of one of those hydraulic lines to locate bales stuck in the ice to the side of the few existing holes that had been randomly made.

Used it by sweeping the underside of the ice in a circle around the hole probing for bales which had floated up from the broken fuselage and frozen into the underside of the ice, and then as a measuring stick and angle finder to put on the surface to find the spot to dig.

Clever, eh?

Then a few days later some humongus dude carried a big chainsaw up there to probe with. Just plunged the tip of the bar randomly through the 18 inch ice and looked for a change in color in the spray from white to brown. That's when the lake started to look like swiss cheese, they say - holes and people EVERY where.

all for some low grade shwagola soaked in airplane fuel. i'd rather just get a job bussing tables at the awahnee (sp? lol)
splitter

Trad climber
Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Aug 18, 2012 - 06:54am PT
My suggestion:

Make a shrine out of it...then burn a big phat one!

edit: just kidding, well, about the shrine part anyway! ;)

Actually it is pretty cool, imo! Brings back memories, and, a bit of sadness (for lack of a better word at this moment) it was just an airplane, like any other one. But it has a certain aura attached to it. First and foremost, I thought of Jack & then the two piolot's! RIP
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Aug 18, 2012 - 07:14am PT
The cargo went up in smoke.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Aug 18, 2012 - 12:46pm PT
Well, if the drought continues, maybe we'll have a FaceLift outing to upper Merced Lake, to retrieve anything else there that can be fished out.

Nice score, and a fine addition to the climbing museum.
jmap

Social climber
NC
Aug 18, 2012 - 03:31pm PT
Credit: jmap

Credit: jmap

Credit: jmap

This wreckage is about 5 minutes from the Blowing Rock boulderfield in NC.

Mountain Hunt Is On After Pot-plane Crash
The Plane, Stolen From Edgewater, Ignited About 15 Minutes After Crashing, Giving The Survivors Time To Escape.
June 22, 1994|By Pat LaMee of The Sentinel Staff

DAYTONA BEACH Investigators were searching Tuesday for the pilot and passenger of a stolen Edgewater plane that was carrying about $4 million in contraband when it crashed in western North Carolina.
The 1978 Piper Aztec hit a 1,000-foot-high hillside about 7:30 p.m. Sunday while trying to fly out of a gorge in the Pisgah National Forest. The pilot had flown there to avoid surveillance by U.S. Customs planes, investigators said.

When rescuers reached the area, they found about 40 bales of burned marijuana and other contraband, which was being cataloged Tuesday.

Nearby footprints indicated two men had survived and walked away, said Gene Redmon, a park ranger heading the investigation.

''The plane ignited about 15 minutes after the crash, giving them time to get out,'' he said.

Two men wearing tattered clothing trudged out of the dense forest and into Upton City in Caldwell County, south of the crash in Watauga County, about 8 a.m. Monday, Redmon said.

''They walked up to locals and offered money for transportation to any nearby city,'' Redmon said. ''One of the men had a head injury and told locals they had survived a motorcycle wreck.''

The men were described as ''tired and dirty and in their 50s,'' the ranger said. They fled when asked if they had been in a plane crash.

It took the men 13 hours to travel about eight to 10 miles over rough terrain from the crash site to Upton, said Lisa Rash, assistant to Fire Marshal Tom Collins.

The air-smuggling attempt began at Massair Flite Service Inc. in Edgewater last Wednesday when the fully fueled twin-engine plane - ready for an early charter flight - was stolen, investigators said.

Owner John Massey said the $85,000 plane was insured, but not for the full value.

The Edgewater Air Park was built by the Massey family in 1957. Massair has been in operation since 1982.

''We've never had a plane stolen,'' Massey said. ''Somebody connected with the operation and with some local knowledge had to have been involved.

''Someone with information about what goes on, who's who and someone who wouldn't generate suspicion by being near the plane must have provided information,'' he said. ''The plane was left outside, which isn't usually done.''

Massey suspects someone broke the plane door lock, which he said was like that of a car door lock, and once inside worked the switches.

''There's no key ignition in a plane - just toggle switches to operate,'' he said.

U.S. Customs' surveillance of the plane began early Sunday when a suspicious plane was spotted flying north toward Great Inagua Island, near the eastern tip of Cuba and north of the Windward Passage, said Tom Bowers, a Customs' spokesman.


The plane was seen flying about 50 to 100 feet above the ocean at about 125 mph, about 350 miles from the U.S. coast, he said.

Two Customs planes left from Jacksonville at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, and the pilot tried to land the stolen plane near Wilmington, N.C., two hours later, Bowers said.

To elude Customs, the pilot flew low, sometimes over city areas at below-rooftop levels, Bowers said.

In an infrared tape released Monday, the stolen plane is seen flying over roads and forests and then striking trees atop the mountain ridge near Blowing Rock, N.C., Bowers reported.
zBrown

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Aug 18, 2012 - 04:48pm PT
OK and good.

But where is the all the gold bullion?

When ric publishes the book (a pre-release draft of which I have seen) it will be told for the first time that it was not the weight of the weed, but rather the gold (real, though the quartemaster for the flight had been led to believe it was the Acapulco kind) that sent the plane and it's misfortunate habitues into their death spiral into the lake.

Poor old Paul Ryan, who has trouble getting things straight, is searching all over Colorado as we speak. If I could get through my P90X's (doesn't that sound like some kind of plane?) I'd be up at the lake with by sluice box right now.



TMJesse

Mountain climber
Olympia, WA
Nov 15, 2012 - 11:17pm PT
I heard that the guy with the L shaped probe located the bales and then the dude with the chainsaw verified the find and cut the openings for removal from the ice, both on the same day - Easter Sunday, it was said. Supposedly, this was the same day a small plane buzzed the place to have a look.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Nov 16, 2012 - 06:31am PT
^^^ chainsaw arrived about 3 days after L shaped probe ^^^
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Nov 16, 2012 - 09:38am PT
all for some low grade shwagola soaked in airplane fuel. i'd rather just get a job bussing tables at the awahnee

My thoughts exactly. These days you couldn't give that stuff away. Its called brickweed and not worth the airplane fuel its soaked in.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Nov 16, 2012 - 02:53pm PT
Bomber mountain in the BigHorns of WY has I believe a B-17 wreck on it at around 12,000ft.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Nov 16, 2012 - 05:17pm PT
Don Paul..... No it was not BRICKWEED at all........

Some folks told me that.
splitter

Trad climber
da'Raven / Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 16, 2012 - 07:12pm PT
a small plane buzzed the place to have a look
How about the chopper (helicopter) that one longtime Valley resident enlisted to make a huge haul with?

edit: i heard it snowed heavily in Fresno & elsewhere for sometime after that.
MisterE

Social climber
Nov 16, 2012 - 10:11pm PT
Great pieces for the collection, Ken.

*nothing clever to add*
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